January 2012 may be the longest month of my life. Cancer diagnosis at the beginning of the year, when one tends to be in starting over and setting intentions mode, is an odd parallel to live. Still, it has been in many ways quite wonderful. Cancer forces one to take stock of what is important and to pay attention to now.
I spent much of 2011 searching and absorbing information. Some I needed, most was just padding. I searched and searched as if there were a magic solution, a formula to tell me how best to live and prosper. I knew deep down there was not, but still I searched. I wanted it to be easy.
What I have learned as I faced my diagnosis is, it is easy. It is easy if you let it be.
Definition of EASE: the state of being comfortable: as a- freedom from pain or discomfort; b- freedom from care; c- freedom from labor or difficulty; d- freedom from embarrassment or constraint. Naturalness -“known for his charm and ease of manner.” An easy fit.
If we are doing our true work and living authentically, it will be with ease, naturalness. Not that challenges don’t arise, or mistakes get made, but an overall sense of ease will accompany a life lived from the heart. My cancer woke me up to that part of myself I had buried. It still shone through in my art, but in my life the spark had gone out. I found no joy in cooking, or in caring for my things. No depth in my daily interactions and tasks.
In the end the simple things are the deepest.
I have been having various side effects from pain medication and treatments that have forced me to slow down, thus I have taken up my knitting with a new appreciation. Rather than just a way to fill time and relax, I am noticing the texture and subtle color shifts in my work. What a simple and elegant thing, creating a piece of fabric with yarn and needles.
I have also taken an interest in food and cooking that has been latent for some time. It turns out cancer is dramatically effected by diet, and I am committed to do all I can to beat it. Being winter, albeit a warm one, soups have been a real pleasure these past few weeks. Soup, chili, and shopping for fresh ingredients. When was the last time I enjoyed shopping for food, planning a meal?
The thing that has most dramatically changed is my attitude towards my “stuff.” For the past few years I have been complaining about the excess I’ve accumulated and not done much about making it go away. There is that expression about getting your affairs in order when facing death, but I have found even the possibility of death to be motivation. I realize it doesn’t matter so much if I make a couple bucks on eBay, or if every worthless trinket finds a perfect home before hitting the garbage. It is cluttering my life and it must go. I feel so much less attached to the outcome. Every day I tackle a drawer or a pile, a shoebox, or a closet. Just stuff. Let it go… When I do leave this life I want what remains to be easy.
I was visiting with a friend yesterday and explaining all this. I said to her, “You know, this is who I always was, I just lost my way.”
So I say to you, reader:
How many ways are you forcing a lifestyle that is not you?
Is your craft business or day job draining or feeding you? How about the dinner plans?
Finally, where my art business is concerned, I see there, too, I have been playing it falsely. Buying biz plans that don’t suit me and not using them. You know what I mean. Next time Let’s talk about aligning the dollar with living authentically!
From the Heart,